ACMA consults on broadband service commitment proposals

11 Nov 2020

Companies offering fixed broadband services will be required to publish their customer service commitments and details of their associated performance under new industry rules that have been proposed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Currently there are no requirements for telcos to publish their customer service commitments and the remedies they will provide if commitments are not met, such as rebates or backup modems to maintain connectivity. With regards to the authority’s plan to change this, ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin suggested the proposals would help drive improvements in customer service, saying: ‘These new rules will require telcos offering fixed broadband services to be transparent about their service commitments and remedies they are providing their customers, and report on their performance against these.’

Meanwhile, it has been noted that as per the proposals operators will be required to put in place arrangements so that their customers benefit from the new rebate scheme put in place by NBN Co on wholesale service performance. Under new arrangements, NBN Co will provide rebates to retail telcos for missed wholesale service levels, such as missed appointments, and the ACMA’s new rules will require that those rebates be passed on to affected customers, ‘in monetary form or in kind’.

With a consultation on the ACMA’s plans open for feedback until 9 December 2020, the regulator has said it expects the new rules to be in place ‘in early 2021’.